Google Speed Update – What It Means & The PPC Impact

By Tanner Schroeder | @TannerSchroeder | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing |

Google is all about the need, the need for speed.

Top Gun Speed Update

tom cruise maverick GIF by Top 100 Movie Quotes of All Time

Specifically, your site speed with the latest Google Indexing update launched on July 9th. Called the “Speed Update”, Google has introduced site speed as a ranking factor for mobile web pages on the SERP. Gasp

Really, I don’t expect this to come as a big surprise to too many of you PPCitizens, as Google already ranks site speed on desktop. Plus, study after study has come out proving that site speed is super important to the average user. Especially on mobile where 53% of visitors leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

The PPC Impact

From what we are reporting thus far on our PPCHero and Hanapin websites, our organic rankings have not taken a hit, but then we have a pretty optimized mobile site (#humblebrag). For those of you who are working with slower mobile sites, you might report an uptick in mobile traffic to your paid search results as your organic listings take a hit and users go through an ad instead. I would keep an eye in Analytics on your mobile traffic to see if you have taken a hit from the new rankings.

If you are seeing a dip in mobile traffic, or even if you aren’t, we recommend optimizing your site for mobile as best as possible. Google has a couple of tools available to evaluate a page’s performance. Lighthouse is a Chrome DevTools resource that audits web page quality by looking at performance and accessibility and PageSpeed Insights reports on how well a page performs on Chrome and recommends performance optimizations.

If updating your mobile site is not currently in the cards, a strong desktop site and search campaign are still crucial. You want your customers to have a solid user experience so they can become a lead or make a purchase. Depending on how slow your mobile site is, it might make sense to bid down on mobile in your search campaigns until improvements can be made to not pay for clicks and have them abandon before the site loads.

Conclusion

The site speed update is important, as it shows Google is continuing to focus on website performance. Overall, though, the impact on your PPC campaigns should be minimal. If you have an extremely slow site, it would be smart to lower mobile bid adjustments until improvements can be made. Otherwise, keep an eye on traffic and watch for a dip in mobile over the coming month.

Has the update had an impact on your site? Let me know on Twitter!

The Latest PPC Updates to Catapult Campaigns in 2019

In this webinar, Hanapin’s Kelly Pollock and Optmyzr’s Fred Vallaeys will point out which updates have made (and will make) a major impact on digital marketers, and what we should be preparing ourselves for as we fly into 2019.

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